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History Education and the Politics of Identity in a Globalizing Vietnam


Credit: Depositphotos The announcement by Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) in late April that it would make history an elective in the national high school curriculum was met with a flurry of anxious opinions in the Vietnamese press and social media. Beginning with the 2022 cohort , Vietnamese high school students can choose to study, at minimum, one of three social science subjects: geography, history, and economy and law education. The public concerns about this move – that the marginalizing of history will erode the national awareness of the young generation – reflect the growing anxiety of national identity in a globalizing Vietnam.

According to the MOET , the change resulted from wide consultations and conforms to international standards on education and preceding guidelines. The move is part of the ministry’s New General Education Plan , enacted in 2018, which seeks to implement the Central Executive Committee’s 2013 Resolution 29-NQ/TW on the comprehensive renovation of education. The Plan intends the last three grades in high school to be the “career-oriented education phase” after a nine-year “basic education phase.” These policies aim to modernize Vietnam’s dated educational regime that indiscriminately trains students in all subjects without career specialization. Their […]

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